14 April 2009

Must See Exhibit

The Smithsonian Museum of American Art has a wonderful current exhibit. If you can get to it in person, do so. Otherwise, they are kind enough to put some of the images in a slide show on line.

1934: A New Deal for Artists celebrates the 75Th anniversary of the Public Works of Art Program by drawing on the Smithsonian American Art Museum's unparalleled collection of vibrant artworks created for the program. Here is the quote from their website:

In 1934, Americans grappled with an economic situation that feels all too familiar today. Against the backdrop of the Great Depression, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's administration created the Public Works of Art Program—the first federal government program to support the arts nationally. Federal officials in the 1930s understood how essential art was to sustaining America's spirit. Artists from across the United States who participated in the program, which lasted only six months from mid-December 1933 to June 1934, were encouraged to depict "the American Scene."

The Public Works of Art Program not only paid artists to embellish public buildings, but also provided them with a sense of pride in serving their country. They painted regional, recognizable subjects—ranging from portraits to cityscapes and images of city life to landscapes and depictions of rural life—that reminded the public of quintessential American values such as hard work, community and optimism.

You can view the slide show on line HERE.


carol g said...

Now that is my kind of art... I can actually understand what the artist is painting... and what nostalgia! How far have we progressed and yet how much of our heritage have we taken for granted.

Linda said...

I'd love to get down to the Smithsonian one of these days. It's always been on my list of places I want to go but I'm not sure if I'll get there while this exhibit is on. Thank goodness for slideshows!